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Hek favours railways in state

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SHILLONG, Jan 12: Cabinet Minister and BJP leader AL Hek on Friday said he favours the introduction of railways to Khasi and Jaintia Hills.
He told reporters that development will come to Meghalaya through railways.
“Be it goods train, passenger train or even toy train, development should come to Meghalaya,” he said.
The work of Tetelia-Byrnihat railway project has remained stalled for the past many years due to opposition from the pressure groups. They want the government to first put in place a mechanism to check the influx of illegal immigrants before introducing railways.
Hek said the pressure groups have their own opinion but he is clear that Meghalaya needs development, employment, resources and revenue.
Asked if the BJP’s state unit will approach the central government to push railways, he said the Centre has already approved the railway projects for which necessary survey and exercise is going on.
Earlier, the government’s plan to divert railway projects to Jaintia Hills was also met with opposition from the pressure groups.
While the entire state Cabinet seems to be in favour of bringing railways in Khasi Hills, it remains to be seen if the government will take the opinions of the common people on the issue.
3 aspirants for ticket,
but decision remains
The senior BJP leader, on the sidelines, said that there are three aspirants in pursuit of the party ticket for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls from Shillong seat.
Hek, who is out of the race for the party ticket, said that a prominent lawyer, Fenela Lyngdoh Nonglait, former BJP president Ernest Mawrie and a youth leader are top aspirants for the party ticket from Shillong.
He, however, made it clear that the final decision will be made by the party high command.
As far as the party’s preparations are concerned, the senior BJP leader said that the party will win both parliamentary seats in the state.
He however defended the delay in announcing the candidates.
On the charges of BJP attempting to gain an advantage for polls through Ram Mandir consecration, Hek downplayed the issue. “Inauguration of a mandir, mosque or even a church happens everywhere and frequently. If Congress is boycotting the event, it is their choice,” Hek said, while adding that the Congress party itself is playing politics in the matter.
Hek also took a dig at the grand-old party over its Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, set to take a journey through Northeast as well.

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